By BILL JONES
Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell, who is recovering in an Alabama hospital from multiple injuries suffered in a June 14 motorcycle crash, said this morning that he doesn't know when he will be released.
During a telephone interview from the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Hospital, Bell said he is fighting pneumonia that developed late last week.
"It hasn't cleared up like they hoped it would," Bell said.
But the district attorney general said he hopes to be released from the hospital soon. Had it not been for the pneumonia, he said, he likely would have been released late last week.
He noted that his wife, Jane, and son, Sam, who had been at his bedside, were returning to Greeneville today.
But the attorney general said he has been cleared by his physicians to walk on his own around the hospital corridors. "I hope to walk every hour or so," he said.
Bell said physicians had told him that walking may help him overcome the pneumonia.
The district attorney general noted that he suffered multiple injuries, including a broken arm, broken ribs and a lacerated liver in the Saturday, June 14, motorcycle crash at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala.
"I was 20 minutes away from loading up to come home (when the crash took place)," Bell said this morning.
He explained that he has no memory of the crash, other than being loaded into an ambulance after the accident.
"I was about halfway through the first lap of the last training session (of the day)," Bell said. "The next thing I remember is being loaded into an ambulance."
He said he has since been told that his motorcycle had been hit by another motorcycle, causing him to lose control.
An organization called Sportbike Track Time (STT) had the Barber Motorsports Park rented for the weekend of June 14 and 15, according to the motorsports park's Web site.
Bell said he was taking a training course the organization offers in an effort to learn how to ride his motorcycle better, and to experience what it is like to ride on a major competition track such as that at the Barber Motorsports Park.
He said he had ridden on seven other tracks prior to traveling to Alabama the weekend of June 14 and 15.
The Barber Motorsports Park track, according to the STS Web site, is 45 feet wide with 16 turns, and has 80 feet of elevation change.
Bell said he wished to thank everyone in the Greeneville area who has sent get-well cards or placed telephone calls to him.
He also noted that he has friends in Birmingham who have been assisting him while he has been hospitalized.